Friday, April 10, 2009

I take requests.

Following my announcement on Facebook yesterday that a Grilled Cheese Invitational was coming to Los Angeles (!!!) I was indirectly challenged to construct a blog devoted to grilled cheese. Being someone who prides himself on having a story for any occasion I was horrifed to realize I really didn't have any specific gem ready to go. That is until a golden oldie, over a decade past, came to mind. It's a trifle, some stories are more epic than others but it made me smile then and now.

In Oneonta there is a small little diner which looks like the extension of your great Aunt's kitchen only restaurant size. While this in and of itself doesn't make the diner stand out, the fact it's full of creepy fucking dolls has burned itself onto my memory. All sorts of dolls line the walls and counters but even more off putting is the little dioramas all over the place. Fine detailed dioramas, resembling the ones you used to have to build for school are everywhere just filled with dolls.

-Little girl dolls
-Cowboy dolls
-Farmer dolls
-Soldier dolls

You get the idea.

One afternoon a while back it's my father, my grandfather (the ex boxer) and myself sitting down to lunch. Up until college I was a really picky eater, no salad dressing on salad, no jelly with my peanut butter, no frills in general. I was probably eating a burger of some sort, I forget what my father was having but my grandfather ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. On that day the idea of myself eating grilled cheese would have been met with an eye roll and the idea of years later anticipating a festival devoted to this culinary delight would have been met with horror. We talked for a bit, the conversation probably covered the time my grandfather defeated the Mexican World Champion because he liked telling that story but soon our food arrived.

My grandfather took one bite of his sandwich before a curious expression crossed his face. He set the grilled cheese down and opened the sandwich up, revealing tomatoes sitting upon the cheese. He looked up at us "It takes a real man to put tomatoes on a grilled cheese".

We burst out laughing as he closed the sandwich and resumed his lunch. That phrase would make my dad and I laugh for days to come. We would pitch each other scenarios with policement, firemen, superheroes and in each case no, these men were not heroes. The REAL men were the ones that put tomatoes on grilled cheese.

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